The Mobile App Development Process
While at first glance the process of developing a mobile app may appear simple, there is a vast and intricate system of decisions and technicalities that need to be addressed.
From the initial idea to the eventual deployment, there needs to be a plan in place that would attend to each part of the development process. Remember, your app needs to compete with all the others on the app store, so it is important to move forward purposefully.
All apps start with an idea. Even if yours is simply to have a presence on the app stores as part of your marketing campaign, you can nurture that into a solid foundation for a great app.
After researching your target audience, their demographics, behavior patterns, and other apps that cater to them, you are ready to set the groundwork for the steps that follow. Your research will reveal the gaps in the marketplace or problems that your competitors are not solving which you can target directly.
This part of the process also includes planning. Each step of the process needs to be determined, and time estimates need to be set so that milestones can be achieved in a reasonable space of time.
The design process is where the planning takes a visual turn. Once you can see how your app is progressing, it becomes easier to pinpoint where certain changes can be made. It is because of that reason that the design process can become prolonged and frustrating if not controlled.
Before starting the digital process, experts advise that you first structure a wireframe. You can grab a pen and paper and compose the basic content and functionality that would need to be included in the design. The wireframe will establish the fundamental structure of the page before the visual design is assembled.
The user interface encapsulates all the visual elements that a user could interact with. It includes all the touch display features that link to all the content and functions of the app.
UI design needs to ensure usability for all users, display consistency, and comprehensible visual representation. Design principles such as spacing and colour use need to be applied here so that you can ensure that the users will enjoy using the app.
Here is where your research from the start of the development process will come into play. User experience design relates to the perception and emotions that the design evokes from a user. Accessibility and simplicity of use are key features of this part of the process.
You need to ensure that your app is easy to use for anyone from the most tech-savvy developer around to someone who hardly knows anything about technology. Some UX design practices go so far as to optimize the experience even for people who suffer from colour-blindness or other visual ailments.
Design to Development Handoff
After having put so much effort into the design process, the development team must recognize it properly. You can offer them guides to work with when proceeding to the coding.
Front End Development
The front-end development refers to the more visual versions of the code – simply put, it is how the app will function with all the UI elements.
Back End Development
The back-end development refers to the code that you would not be able to interact with directly. It is all the things that happen behind the scenes, such as server optimization and the app’s performance.
Before deploying the application and subjecting it to standard checking by the app stores you would want it publicized on, it is important to ensure that it is performing as intended.
Before the app can be subjected to beta-testing, it first needs to be cleared as being functional. Here, you can determine any performance issues, functionality inconsistencies, or device-specific lapses that might have occurred in the development process. When these have been diagnosed and treated, the app can be sent to a beta-testing team.
These testing practices involve releasing the application for use to a select group of people who are picked at the creators’ discretion. They would use the application as though it has already been released and report anything that is not behaving the way it is supposed to.
Here, you will be able to see how the app performs across various platforms, operating systems, and networks. If anything is discovered that is out of place, it can be located and fixed.
After being cleared of all irregularities, your app is finally ready to be submitted for launch. Remember, however, that this is not the end of the line. Once your app is live on the app stores, you will also receive feedback from users, who might insist on features that could improve the app that you would need to add in future versions.
Mobile apps are a long term commitment that will need resources to maintain and develop so that it can grow with the times.